Study on Marines Shows TBI Increases the Risk of PTSD and Poor Pain Control
A large team of investigators led by Kate A. Yurgil has just published an article in JAMA Psychiatry online (71(2):149-157. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2013.3080) called “Association between TBI and Risk of PTSD in Active-Duty Marines. The investigators from UC San Diego and the V.A. studied a group of 1,648 marines at Camp Pendleton in San Diego for four years between June 2008 and May 2012. What they wanted to know was why some marines are more vulnerable to PTSD and some are more resistant to it. What they found was that PTSD is the strongest predictor of PTSD even when controlling for pre-existing symptoms and combat intensity. Moderate to severe brain trauma raised PTSD symptom scores by 71% while mild TBI raised scores by 23%. The researchers also found a strong association between TBI and chronic pain suggesting that TBI dysregulates the brain’s ability to tolerate pain.